Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information
UK Government Announces Further Lockdown Measures
On 23/03/2020, the UK government announced further measures to restrict movement and social gatherings in order to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and limit the rate of infection throughout the country.
The current requirements/measures are now very simple and clear, and are as follows:
1. All people must stay at home, except for very limited purposes;
You should only leave the house for one of four reasons.
- Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
- One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
- Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
- Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
These four reasons are exceptions – even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.
2. Non-essential shops and community spaces are now closed, including;
- Clothing and electronics stores; hair, beauty and nail salons; and outdoor and indoor markets (excluding food markets)
- Libraries, community centres, and youth centres.
- Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, arcades and soft play facilities.
- Communal places within parks, such as playgrounds, sports courts and outdoor gyms.
- Places of worship, except for funerals attended by immediate families.
- hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, campsites, caravan parks, and boarding houses for
- Commercial/leisure use (excluding permanent residents and key workers).
3. All gatherings of more than two people in public are now not permitted
There are only two exceptions to this rule:
- Where the gathering is of a group of people who live together
- Where the gathering is essential for work purposes – but workers should be trying to minimise all meetings and other gatherings in the workplace.
In addition, the Government is stopping social events, including religious ceremonies.
This will exclude funerals, which can be attended by immediate family.
Advice and Guidance
Why are these measures being put in place?
These measures will reduce our day to day contact with other people. They are a vital part of our efforts to reduce the rate of transmission of coronavirus.
These further more stringent measures have been necessary due to previous measures not being followed by the general public as closely as they needed to be.
Do all of these rules/measures apply to me?
Yes. Every citizen must comply with these new measures. The relevant authorities, including the police, will be given the powers to enforce them – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.
When do I need to start following these rules, and how long will these measures be in place for?
These measures are effective immediately, but the Government will look again at these measures in three weeks, and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.
Top Tips For Students
- Only go out if it is necessary i.e. to buy essential food or medicine
- Do not invite friends or family to visit you – stay in contact online instead
- Do not host parties or gatherings in your flat
- Complete University work from your room/flat
- Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces such as work tops and door/cabinet handles
- Put in place a kitchen or bathroom rota for your flat if these facilities are shared
- Do not share towels or cutlery/crockery and wash up regularly
- Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly for 20s or more with soap and warm water, or use alcohol based hand sanitiser (minimum of 60%)
- Use online services and technology to keep you informed and updated, and to order essentials/medicine rather than going out where possible to do so
Communications with my on site management team
You can still communicate with your on-site team and we understand how important this is to you, but we now ask that you are considerate and communicate with the team by phone, email, your portal or by social media rather than by face to face (unless it is critical or an emergency). This is both for your protection and that of staff.
If you require post/mail, you can still collect this from reception.
Keeping in contact with my friends, family and University
It is important to keep in regular contact with friends and family. Technology makes this extremely easy to do despite the need for social distancing at this time. If you have trouble doing this, then please contact a member of the site team to see how they may be able to support/assist you.
- Set up a WhatsApp or Facebook messenger group for friends and loved ones
- Put aside time in your day/week to contact loved ones and friends using skype, WhatsApp and other online platforms to stay connected. Webcam/video calls can be a fun and great way to stay connected!
- Keep an eye out for University updates and communications relating to classes, projects and lectures and how these will be delivered during this period
- Ensure your contact details are up to date on your CRM portal and any University systems so you can be contacted with key information, and check these platforms regularly for updates
What can I do to keep busy and occupy my time?
Do the things you love – read a book, play online games with your friends, learn a new skill or even a language online, meditate. There are plenty of things that you can do to keep yourself occupied and busy, even from home/your accommodation!
Spending more time at home/in your accommodation is an ideal opportunity to start or finish off those projects you have previously had to put to one side.
Go for a walk, for a run or even just complete light stretches. Exercise can greatly improve mood and is fantastic for mental health. If you do exercise, please strictly follow any government guidance on social distancing or restrictions on movement and keep up to date with advice as it may change/evolve over time.
Whilst it is important to stay up to date with guidance, sticking to trusted sources of information (e.g. Public Health England, NHS, and The World Health Organisation) and minimising time reading social media posts about the subject can help reduce any anxiety or stress.
Living in Shared Accommodation
- Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- Always wash your hands when you get home or into work/University
- Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- Avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus
- Only travel on public transport if you absolutely need to
- Complete work from home where you can
- Avoid social activities, such as going to pubs, gyms, restaurants, theatres and cinemas and avoid events with large groups of people
- Clean your bathroom and communal spaces and surfaces, as well as cutlery and crockery regularly
- Use separate towels and hand towels to flat mates
- Try and keep to social distancing advice and perhaps consider a bathroom or kitchen rota to minimise risk of infection within a cluster flat environment
- Use phone, online services, or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services
- Touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
- Have visitors to your home, including friends and family
Mental Health Support
Looking after your mental health
You don’t have to be self-isolating in order for coronavirus concerns to have an impact on your mental health. You might find yourself feeling worried about the spread of coronavirus and its impact on you and your loved ones. These feelings are normal and it’s important we acknowledge them and remind each other to look after our physical and mental health.
However, there are steps you can take to look after your mental health and wellbeing. A number of organisations have published guidance on mental health considerations relating to the coronavirus outbreak, including:
Student Minds are collating guidance and developing resources to support you with this.
It has come to their attention that a number of universities are ceasing face-to-face teaching and closing down their facilities in light of the outbreak. At all times, we/they recommend checking with your university and your students’ union for updates relevant to you.
On the Student Minds page you can find resources and information such as:
- Looking after your mental health
- Guidance for those with ongoing mental health difficulties
- Social distancing and self-isolating
- Xenophobia and racism following COVID-19 concerns
- Supporting your friends and family
Guidance for those with ongoing mental health difficulties
For some people, the coronavirus outbreak and surrounding coverage and speculation may trigger compulsive thoughts and unhelpful behaviours, particularly if you have pre-existing conditions such as Anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. If you are receiving support for your condition, you might find it helpful to talk to your clinician, therapist, or other medical professionals.
Various external organisations have begun producing guidance for those who have existing mental health conditions:
Please also refer to the coronavirus (COVID-19) poster from the World Health Organisation which provides some helpful guidance on avoiding stress or anxiety during the pandemic.
If you require any support, please contact a member of your accommodation management team and/or your University welfare team who can provide you with assistance.
Trusted sources of coronavirus (COVID-19) information, guidance and updates for the whole of the UK (including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)
The World Health Organisation (WHO):